Behind the design with Gina Ciancio.

We chat with Gina Ciancio, Interior Designer, who recently renovated a clients house.

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Gina Ciancio
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Photography Gina Ciancio at Style Curator
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“My client wanted to see and experience the different window coverings and fabrics before locking in selections. The full-size fabric samples gave an excellent representation of how they would look in the space.”

— Gina

We chat with Gina Ciancio, Interior Designer, who recently renovated a clients house. Gina gives great insight into the process and may just give you a tip or two.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself as a designer. 

  1. My aesthetic is clean, minimal and a bit luxe. I like to focus on using quality materials with timeless appeal for fixtures, and add colour through furniture and décor.

 

What type of home did you renovate – describe the style/design?

  1. The home is fairly modern but the lower ground was never properly designed for the needs of the family. This is their second kitchen but it’s the one they use every day so the granny-flat style kitchen they had wasn’t practical.

What made your clients what to renovate their home? 

  1. Definitely the desire to have a more functional kitchen! Cooking for a large Italian family in a kitchen with almost no bench space and no pantry wasn’t practical. It was time to do something about it. Because we were tiling the kitchen floor, we decided to update all three rooms on this level, including the laundry and bathroom.

 

Tell us about the planning process, about choosing your trades, and how you went about it? 

  1. The planning process started with a design concept – deciding on an overall aesthetic and finding materials to bring it to life. The first material we locked in was the floor tile which formed the largest surface area. The kitchen had a few challenges, mainly the odd ceiling obstruction caused from the staircase that I wanted to hide. I mocked up a few layout options and worked with a kitchen company to tweak the design and have the kitchen made up. There was a bit of ‘toing’ and ‘froing’ to get the lines of the joinery just right and all of the finishing details. I was keen on a slim shaker profile which proved a little challenging at first.

What were the ‘must-haves’ for the renovation?

  1. More bench space and a pantry were top of the wish list.

 

What lesson(s) have you learnt while renovating?

  1. Expect the unexpected – especially during these unprecedented times. Timelines were completely blown by snap lockdowns that lasted months, and then trying to get trades back on site to finish the work. We had to remain flexible and patient.

 

 

 

 

What’s your favourite room in the renovation and why? 

  1. The kitchen feels like a completely different house and exceeded my expectations. Although we increased the size of the kitchen, the whole room feels larger and more spacious. All of the materials work together beautifully and fulfilled all of the client’s wishes.

 

When did you contact us during the process and what benefits did dc+b provide?

  1. I contacted dc+b in the planning stage. I knew window coverings were essential, particularly because of the orientation which sees strong afternoon sun stream through the sliding doors. The benefit of dc+b is having every type of window covering – and the largest range of fabrics – under one roof. I knew whatever I wanted would be achievable. Best of all, every part of the process – from the free measure and quote, to ordering and installation – was taken care of by your friendly team.

 

Was it beneficial to visit dc+b in-store?

  1. My client wanted to see and experience the different window coverings and fabrics before locking in selections. The full-size fabric samples gave an excellent representation of how they would look in the space.

How did you find the design, measure + install service?

  1. So beneficial. We had a tricky window above the kitchen sink. I was keen on a Plantation Shutter as they are water resistant and fitted my design vision but because of the width of the window and obstruction from the tap, we had to get a special bi-folding shutter custom made. The installer could explain exactly how it would be constructed and discuss any pros and cons with us. This saved costly mistakes and valuable time.

 

What products did you choose from dc+b?

Plantation Shutters, Sunscreen Roller Blinds, Translucent Roller Blinds, Sheer Curtains, and Blockout Curtains.

 

How did our products transform the home? 

  1. The Shutters completely elevated wet areas while the Curtains added softness and a sense of homeyness to the bedroom and kitchen.

Did you originally know what you were after in terms of window coverings or were you seeking our advice?

  1. I had a good idea of what I wanted but relied on your team for advice on what exactly was possible given the constraints of the space.

 

When it comes to designing a home, what does your design process look like?

  1. Understanding the client’s needs and desires (aka defining the problem) > Collecting information (research, visiting showrooms, seeing new products and possibilities) > Brainstorming and sketching up ideas > Refining and developing those ideas (such as working with the kitchen company to finalise concepts) > Presenting these to the client for feedback and input > Finalising the design to take on board feedback or make improvements.

 

What are your top 3 design/style tips for renovating a house? 

  1. Develop a vision and stick to it. Set your budget from the beginning so you can splurge on what’s important to you and compromise on the rest. Be willing to take some risks – life is short, create a space you’ll love.

You’re given a limited renovation budget; how would you spend it wisely to transform a home? 

  1. This depends a lot on the home, who lives there and how they’ll use the space. But as a general rule of thumb, I’ll never skimp on things that need to offer longevity. For example, hardware (like drawer runners in joinery) and benchtops all need to be high quality. I’ll also dedicate budget to the largest surface areas – flooring, walls and window coverings. Flooring needs to be practical and fit for purpose – it isn’t easy to replace if you get the decision wrong. Window coverings can add so much comfort – controlling light and privacy, while also adding thermal insulation. They can also transform a space, making it feel larger and more luxurious.

 

What are the 3 most important things that make your home feel like a home?

A sense of warmth which can be achieved with the right colour scheme, soft furnishings and styling. Personality. And good energy.

 

What qualities do you look for when choosing material, furniture and accessories in your designs?

  1. It has to be fit for purpose. What works for one client might not be suitable for another. Whether you have young children or pets can be a big deciding factor, haha. I look for materials and products that will bring a particular design to life.

 

Are you a Curtains, Blinds or Shutters person?

Can I be all three? I don’t discriminate.

 

Some people find it difficult to decide what to do with their windows. Any tips? 

  1. Function first. I know it’s boring but ultimately your window coverings need to work for you. Ability to control light, thermal benefits and privacy vary a lot between products so it’s best to think about what you need and work backwards from there. Also knowing your design aesthetic will help a lot. Some window coverings lend themselves to certain design styles more than others… or at least colours and prints which will make selecting the colour and material easier.

 

How do you find inspiration?

  1. I spend my days surrounded by all things interiors. Sometimes my inspiration will come from a new product I discover, such as a unique light fitting. Other times my inspiration will come from something that isn’t at all interiors related, like an interesting colour combination on a plant. I’m that weirdo who’s always taking photos while out and about and filing them for later.

 

What’s on your interiors wish list right now?

  1. I’m about to completely overhaul our house so the list is long, haha. There’s lots of dreamy new furniture, light fixtures, artworks… It’s best not to think about it!

 

“The benefit of dc+b is having every type of window covering – and the largest range of fabrics – under one roof. I knew whatever I wanted would be achievable. Best of all, every part of the process – from the free measure and quote, to ordering and installation – was taken care of by your friendly team.”

— Gina

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